The extensive investigation following the Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia accident of February 1, 2003 determined that hot gases entered the wing through a breach in the protective reinforced carbon/carbon (RCC) leading edge. In the current study, the exposed edges of the recovered RCC from the vicinity of the breach are examined with scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. Electron microscopy of the exposed edges revealed regions of pointed carbon fibers, characteristic of exposure to high temperature oxidizing gases. The Raman technique relates the observed 1350 and 1580 to 1600 cm(-1) bands to graphitic dom ains and their corresponding temperatures of formation. Some of the regions showed evidence of exposure temperatures beyond 2700 ?C during the accident.